THE B.C. Greens on Monday released their framework for approach to recovery spending, which they said, if followed, will drive a Green Recovery for B.C.
“A Green Recovery coming out of COVID-19 provides an opportunity for B.C. to seize the moment to build a more sustainable and resilient society. The decisions our minority government makes now could set a new course that benefits British Columbians for the next 10 to 50 years,” said B.C. Green Party interim leader Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich-North and the Islands. “Our Caucus has worked collaboratively and consistently with Government to address this health crisis, but as we return to the legislature now is when we need to ask tough questions about the issues in front of us and ensure we are making the choices that will allow us to build forward.”
One key aspect of a Green Recovery will be to put a greater focus on innovation across all sectors of the economy, so that B.C. can remain competitive and provide a high quality of life. Businesses are ready to be innovative and respond to the climate emergency, but government needs to provide strategic direction – the recently published Emerging Economy Task Force (EETF) and the Innovation Commissioner reports can provide the guidance B.C. needs for a Green Recovery. Both reports are clear: the emerging economy presents major economic opportunities for B.C., but to seize them we cannot continue with status quo thinking, said the B.C. Greens.
“As we navigate our way out of this pandemic, the B.C. Green Caucus is committed to prioritizing a Green Recovery on all fronts, promoting long term, evidence-based policies that address the inequities and core issues facing our province,” said B.C. Green MLA Sonia Furstenau, Cowichan Valley. “Significant stimulus spending will take up the province’s fiscal capacity for the foreseeable future. Younger generations will carry the burden of this debt – ensuring this spending serves to either lessen their burden or strategically advances longer term objectives should be every elected official’s top priority this session.”
The B.C Green Caucus plan is based on a values framework that will help drive a strategic approach to stimulus and recovery through shaping policy and funding decisions. In addition to the forward-looking Green Recovery Plan, the B.C. Green Caucus is launching its new website which will serve as a useful, informative portal for British Columbians to learn more and get a better understanding of the work the B.C. Green Caucus has done and will be doing this session, said the B.C. Greens.
Building forward and not back, means driving spending towards investments that will shape an innovative, low-carbon, sustainable, just and inclusive economy for all. A values-based framework will enable a strategic approach to stimulus and recovery that allows multiple values to be achieved through policy and funding decisions.
- Clean recovery
- The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA)
- Efficiency and partnerships
- Resiliency and Innovation
- Secure, regionally distributed jobs
Green Recovery Priorities
- Focusing on recovery policies that help us reach legislated emission reduction targets;
- Addressing the structural elements that limit Indigenous self determination;
- Strengthening made-in-BC supply chains, to create more jobs in B.C. and make our economy more resilient to future shocks;
- Creating immediate employment opportunities across B.C., especially for young people, through environmental remediation projects, tree planting and conservation projects;
- Increasing social supports like mental health programs and affordable housing in conjunction with safe supply to protect the most vulnerable in our society;
- Using Genuine Progress Indicators to measure our progress to building a healthier economy, instead of continuing to rely primarily on GDP growth as the primary metric;
- Using the Emerging Economy Task Force and Innovation Commissioner reports as roadmaps to harness innovation across all sectors of B.C.’s economy so we remain competitive and provide a high quality of life;
- Ensuring that any “shovel ready” projects that receive funding are also “shovel worthy” projects
- Creating a truly sustainable forestry industry that emphasizes value-added manufacturing and does not rely on logging the last remaining old growth to be viable;
- Supporting worker transition with programs and skills that would have long-term applicability, and redistribute jobs across B.C.;
- Ending fossil fuel subsidies and instead investing into strategic sectors with long term sustainable growth potential.